Cuisinart ICE-30 Ice Cream Maker – Review
This was the first ice cream maker that I ever bought and I’m still in love with it to this day. It comes with an impressive 5 year guarantee, it makes creamy creamy ice cream, and it takes only 15 minutes to churn a mix.
2 litre removable bowl
The Cuisinart ICE-30 comes with a large 2 litre removable bowl and a plastic dasher. The 2 litre bowl is the largest of any domestic ice cream maker and allows you to make about a litres worth of ice cream at a time. I recommend churning no more than a litre at a time as the more mix there is in the bowl, the longer it will take to freeze. The longer the ice cream takes to freeze, the larger the ice crystals will grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be.
You have to pre-freeze your bowl overnight before you churn your ice cream. Its important to make sure that you have sufficient space in your freezer to accommodate the bowl; the bowl measures 7-1/2″ x 7-1/2″ x 6-1/2″.
It is also very important to get your freezer as cold as it will possibly go when freezing your bowl. This is because the colder you can get the bowl, the faster it will freeze your ice cream mix. The faster you freeze your mix, the smaller the ice crystals are likely to be and the creamier the texture.
I set my freezer to ‘super freeze’, which gets the temperature down to about -27°C. It takes about 15 minutes to freeze the mix, when i set my freezer to -27°C, and about 20 minutes when I set it to -18°C. This is very impressive for a domestic ice cream maker as professional ice cream makers take around 8 minutes to freeze a mix (the more expensive Andrew James Ice Cream Maker with built in compressor takes about 40 minutes).
Before you churn your mix, I recommend shaking the bowl. If you hear the freezing gel gushing around, it means that it isn’t fully frozen. In this case, you need to freeze the bowl for longer or turn down your freezer’s temperature.
Emptying and cleaning the bowl is very easy because of its size. Once you finish churning your mix, allow the bowl to warm to room temperature before cleaning.
The ice cream dasher
The machine comes with a large, and extremely durable, plastic ice cream dasher. Unlike other machines where the motor rotates the dasher around the mix, the dasher on the Cuisinart is static and the bowl rotates instead. Because the bowl rotates at a relatively slow speed, it it incorporates only about 10% air into the ice cream, producing a very creamy and dense texture. Super premium ice creams have about 30% air incorporated, whilst economy ice creams can have as much as 100% air.
Although incorporating a lot of air into a mix does limit the size of ice crystals, thereby improving texture, it can also have a negative impact on ice cream quality: too much air will dissipate flavour and produce ice cream that is fluffy in texture and light in weight. The dasher on the Andrew James Ice Cream Maker rotates at a faster speed than the bowl on the Cusinart and incorporates a lot of air. I found the ice cream made in the Andrew James machine too fluffy and light: the texture wasn’t as dense and creamy as that produced using the Cusinart and tasted a bit cheap.
The Cuisinart also comes with a large opening in the lid, which allows you to easily pour in your mix and add any mix-ins during the churning process.
My only criticism
Although the dasher is strong and durable, my only criticism is that it doesn’t get close enough to the side of the bowl to scrape off any ice cream frozen there, resulting in a lot of the mix being frozen to the side. This is detrimental to the ice cream as the layer of ice frozen to the side of the bowl acts as an insulator, slowing the release of heat from the mix to the bowl. This increases the time it takes to freeze the mix. The longer it takes to freeze the mix, the larger the ice crystals grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be.
I overcome this problem by using my thumb to push the dasher against the side of the bowl to ensure that any ice frozen there is scraped off. This is a bit annoying as you have to stand next to the machine with your thumb in the bowl until the mixture has frozen.
When you finish churning the mix, I recommend putting it in the freezer to harden before serving. You can serve the ice cream directly after you finish churning it but you will have to serve, and eat, it quickly as it will be very soft and begin to melt very quickly.
I have read some reviews that highlight the level of noise the machine makes whilst it churns as a negative point. Although the machine is relatively loud whilst it churns, I think the creamy results far outweigh the annoyance caused by the noise.
All in all, I would give this machine an 8/10. It is an extremely durable machine and comes with an impressive 5 year guarantee. The large 2 litre bowl is great as it allows you to make a litres worth of ice cream at a time. The most significant point to this machine is that it only takes about 15 minutes to freeze a mix, a huge difference to the 40 minutes it takes the more expensive Andrew James machine. The ice cream produced is excellent with an extremely creamy and dense texture.
The only negative point about this machine is that in order to prevent a layer of ice freezing to the side of the bowl, you have to use your thumb to push the dasher up against the side. Some people may also consider the noise level slightly annoying.
I hope this review helps. Any questions, feel free to send me a message. Enjoy your ice cream!